Pilot Study Awards


Proposal Title / Dates Principal Investigator / Institution Project Summary

Adults’ perceptions of risks associated with children ingesting nicotine e-liquids

(Jun 2017 – Aug 2017)

Catherine Kemp (GSU)

The study will document the risk perceptions of adults who live in a home where a child also lives and EVPs are used. Specifically examining the adults’ knowledge of harms resulting from children ingested nicotine e-liquids and e-liquid storage practices in their homes. Information generated from this research will inform the development of evidence-based interventions to reduce the risk of children being harmed from nicotine e-liquids.

Eyetracking study to examine how LCC package design features describing flavors and menthol influence visual attention to warning labels

(Sept 2016 – Aug 2017)

Annice Kim (RTI) Little cigars and cigarillos (LCCs) are widely available in fruit and candy flavors and are popular among youth and young adults. Consumers underestimate the health consequences of LCC use. This may be due to the color, images, and text on LCC packages that make the product appealing to consumers. As of May 2016, all cigar products including LCCs will be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has mandated that warning statements about the dangers of nicotine and cigar use be posted on all cigar packs. Additionally, FDA may eliminate flavors in LCCs in the future. The purpose of this study is to use eyetracking technology to examine how consumers pay attention to warning statements and flavor descriptors on LCC packaging. Results will provide a better understanding of the potential impact of warning labels on LCCs and help inform future regulatory policies.

Young Adult Cigarette Smokers’ Preferences for Little Cigars and Cigarillos: A Discrete Choice Experiment

(Sept 2016 – Aug 2017)

Kymberle Sterling (GSU) Little cigars and cigarillos (LCCs) are combustible tobacco products that are inhaled like cigarettes and are typically flavored.  The appeal and prevalence of LCC use is growing among young adult cigarette smokers, particularly those from racial/ethnic minority groups.  In a landmark decision, in May 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to regulate LCCs, along with other tobacco products.  Although LCCs are under the FDA’s regulatory authority, they are still less regulated than cigarettes. Unlike cigarettes, LCCs are available in characterizing flavors; have fewer product advertising and marketing restrictions; and have no minimum pack size requirements. Preliminary data suggests that flavors in LCC tobacco and some LCC packaging features may appeal to young adult cigarette smokers.  Though there is much evidence that suggests that cigarette tobacco packaging influences the products’ appeal to consumers, much less is known about the impact of LCC product packaging among young adult smokers.  The proposed study seeks to provide empirical evidence that documents how LCC packaging appeals to young adult smokers’ and influences their decision to smoke LCCs.  If successful, the proposed study will provide the FDA with evidence that could inform the development of future regulatory actions.

 An Examination of ENDS Characteristics among Adult Smokers

(Sept 2016 – Aug 2017)

Ce Shang (UIC) The proposed project aims to collect experimental data on adult smokers’ ENDS preferences with respect to attributes over which the FDA has regulatory authority, including flavorings, relative risk, and nicotine strength. The effects of these attributes and their interactions on ENDS preference will be examined while taking account of other important ENDS attributes such as efficacy as cessation aids and prices. By estimating the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for the attributes that are related to the FDA regulation, it will allow us to identify the relative importance of these attributes to inform FDA regulation priorities. The proposed research will also serve as the first study looking into the pattern of ENDS preference by smokers with different socioeconomic characteristics, risk perception, and tobacco use history and status, and thus provide a complete and in-depth picture of potential regulation consequences. The findings will provide important guidance for FDA regulatory decisions and shed light on the overall impact of regulating ENDS attributes on public health.

Assessing E-Cigarette Advertising at Atlanta-area Music Festivals

(Sept 2014 – Aug 2015)

Kymberle Sterling (GSU) As e-cigarette use among adolescents is on the rise, this study examines the advertising practices of electronic cigarette manufacturers at music festivals in the Atlanta area. Results from this study will inform regulatory agencies regarding the need for e-cigarette advertising restrictions.

Developing Messages that Target Perceptions about Hookah Smoking Among Young Adults

(Sept 2014 – Aug 2015)

Kymberle Sterling (GSU) Young adults appear misinformed about the potential risk of smoking hookah. This study will develop media messages to target misconceptions about hookah smoking to provide a health communication campaign to address rick perceptions.

Impact of Flavored Tobacco Product Use on Cigarette Smoking Among High School Students

(Sept 2014 – Aug 2015)

Charles Courtemanche (GSU) The study examines whether or not the 2009 ban on flavored cigarettes can explain why cigarette smoking has fallen more sharply among teens than use of other tobacco products.

An Evaluation of Health Claims in Advertisements of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems in Print

(Sept 2014 – Aug 2015)

Ce Shang (UIC) Advertisements from 25 leading magazines and newspapers from 2010 to 2014 will be analyzed examining how marketing has changed and how it impacts ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery products) risk perception, use behaviors and health consequences.



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